delphipsmith: (Elizabethan adder)
Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this amazing opportunity. Srsly :)

"The American Shakespeare Center, a regional theater company in Staunton, Virginia, is looking to stage new plays as companion pieces to William Shakespeare's classics -- all 38 of them.

'We're looking for remarkable playwrights from all walks of life. Do you have a great play that vibes off of Shakespeare's canon? Can you write a great play to be a companion piece to one of Shakespeare's plays? We want to see it.'"

Be thou as chaste as ice, as pure as snow, thou shalt not escape this offer. Get thee to a keyboard!!
delphipsmith: (grinchmas)
Reveals are up at hoggywartyxmas, so I can now own up to this:

Title: Love Hides in Familiar Faces (on LJ) (on AO3)
Rating: G
Word Count: ~4300
Summary: Even in the darkest of times, there are still glimpses of light. Fortunately for the few who are still awake within the walls of Hogwarts at half-past eleven on this Longest Night, one need not know a tale in order to be part of it.

I was extremely honored to have my fic chosen to open the fest. Many thanks to all the readers for their lovely comments, and to [personal profile] therealsnape for hosting another fabulous Hoggy Warty Christmas!
delphipsmith: (classic quill)
Ah, cozy mysteries -- those wonderful oh-so-English mysteries, where tea and toast are sipped and nibbled, there's a cameo by a vicar, and the corpses are as neat and tidy as the gardens. Such fun to read and so satisfying, since the guilty party is generally someone who richly deserves being caught and convicted.

Ah, but have you ever written one? If so, now's your chance to get published! Minotaur Books is holding a best first mystery competition. Hop on over and give it a shot.

(Note: If I didn't know better, I'd suspect [livejournal.com profile] shiv5468 of having authored that book shown on the left under a nom de plume, because hey, peacocks!)
delphipsmith: (classic quill)
Tor is opening to fantasy novella submissions set in worlds not modeled on European cultures, starting October 12th. They will be open for 3 months.

"...Tor.com will only be considering novellas of between 20,000 and 40,000 words that fit the epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, high fantasy, or quest fantasy genres, whether set on Earth or on an original fantasy world. However, we will only be considering novellas that inhabit worlds that are not modeled on European cultures. We are seeking worlds that take their influences from African, Asian, indigenous American, or Pacific cultures, or any diasporic culture from one of those sources. To qualify, novellas should center the experiences of characters from non-European-inspired cultures...." [emphasis theirs, not mine]

Read more ===>
delphipsmith: (BA beta)
So I've started roughing out various ideas for my [livejournal.com profile] sshg_giftfest recipient, thinking about the different prompts, how they might be fleshed out, where they might go, how I can work in various elements. And I'm in so much trouble. Because I want to write All The Things. In fact multiple versions of All The Things. Seriously, I have at least seven different stories that are all tugging at my sleeve and whining, "Write me!" "No, write me!!" "Shut up, she's going to write ME!!"

This is a good thing, right? Right??
delphipsmith: (Luddite laptop)
How would you like to own your own media outlet? The Hardwick Gazette, a 127-year-old local newspaper in Hardwick, VT, is the prize in an essay contest launched by its owner, who wants to retire.

What an amazing opportunity. I hope it goes to someone who will honor the traditions of a free press. Feel free to spread the link far and wide!!!

Read more ===>
delphipsmith: (classic quill)
Submissions are open for two themed anthologies from Hic Dragones press:

Into the Woods -- "From magical places steeped in mysticism to evil foreboding places of unspeakable terror, the forest is a place of secrets, a place of knowledge, a place of death, and a place of life. But it is also a vulnerable place easily lost to the chainsaw and the drill. Our fascination with what may lie within the woods is an enduring one. Bewilder us, scare us, entertain us. Take us on a journey… into the woods..."

Nothing -- "Bleak landscapes, empty hearts, insignificant lives, dystopian futures, extinction, limbo, uncertainty, death. A beautiful void or a horrific state of being. The simple complexity of nothingness..."

It's a non-paying market but hey, at least you can say you got published :)
delphipsmith: (BA beta)
[livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator tagged me with this meme, for which I thank her most sincerely since it's gotten me to sit down and do an LJ entry after far too long.

Fandom Meme )

Writing Meme )

And now, I tag [livejournal.com profile] mundungus42, [livejournal.com profile] amorette, and [livejournal.com profile] anna_bird.
delphipsmith: (classic quill)
Short on prompts for that next fest? Desperate for an idea for your next original fic? Try PLOTTO: THE MASTER BOOK OF PLOTS!

The author, William Wallace Cook (1867-1933), knows whereof he speaks: he wrote more than a hundred novels under at least two names for pulp publisher Street & Smith, with titles like At daggers drawn, or, A pearl beyond price and Fools for luck, or, Caught in a strange trap.

I can't wait to track down a copy of this :)
delphipsmith: (GilesLatin)
I might have claimed a prompt over on [livejournal.com profile] sshg_promptfest. Heh heh heh. And TWO of my prompts have been claimed ::preens::

On another fun note, I discovered something called Starship Sofa: The Audio Science Fiction Magazine. It's narrated by a couple of funny and fabulously-accented (I could listen to them all night) Irish guys, who are also well-read, interesting, and thoughtful in their analysis of various SF people and things. This particular post has a long two-part piece on one of my favorite authors, Stephen R. Donaldson, including a reading of his story "Mythological Beast."
delphipsmith: (BA beta)
The little icons that go with each warning are HILARIOUS. I think my favorite is "excessive use of passive voice" XD

useful amazon warnings
delphipsmith: (classic quill)
Reveals are up over at [livejournal.com profile] mini_fest and [livejournal.com profile] happy_trekmas, so the last of the four fics I wrote for December fests can now be unveiled! (I know, I know, you've all been waiting, haven't you??)

[livejournal.com profile] nursedarry, whose fault it is that I'm here on LJ at all (smooches her), persuaded me to write for [livejournal.com profile] happy_trekmas this year. I wrote "Walk Beside Me", a series of missing scenes (all canon-compliant, natch!) that show the growth of the friendship between James T. Kirk and Spock. You can read it on the fest's LJ site or over on AO3. Rating is G, word count is 4156, and it's TOS all the way, no rebootin' AU here, nosiree bub.

For [livejournal.com profile] mini_fest this year I tried a pairing I've never done before (Severus and Petunia) and wrote a story called "A Part of Yesterday." One commenter was kind enough to say that "you made me like the horrid Petunia" :) It's angsty, of course, and bittersweet, but I enjoyed writing it very much since it was something I'd never done before, and I'm pleased with the way it came out. You can read it on the fest's LJ site or over on AO3. Rating is Teen/PG-13, word count is 6651, and it's entirely canon-compliant, so don't expect a happy ending.

(I've also now got my [livejournal.com profile] hoggywartyxmas spoof of "The Night Before Christmas" posted on AO3.)
delphipsmith: (all shall be well)
Antonio Gramsci did not like New Year's Day:

I want every morning to be a new year’s for me. Every day I want to reckon with myself, and every day I want to renew myself. No day set aside for rest. I choose my pauses myself, when I feel drunk with the intensity of life and I want to plunge into animality to draw from it new vigor...No spiritual time-serving. I would like every hour of my life to be new, though connected to the ones that have passed. No day of celebration with its mandatory collective rhythms, to share with all the strangers I don’t care about. Because our grandfathers’ grandfathers, and so on, celebrated, we too should feel the urge to celebrate.

And there is something to be said for that. But I still love New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, with its feeling of freshness and potential. I think there is something good about choosing a specific time to reflect on what has passed and what is to come, and to think seriously about how one hopes to shape the next twelve months of one's life.

We had a lovely, mellow New Year's Eve finishing up our Firefly marathon and then watching the first Star Wars movie. Both made us rather melancholy, Firefly because it was cancelled so early and so abruptly, with so many stories left untold, and Star Wars because they all look so damn young. Still, it was great fun to watch the young and dashing Han Solo swash his buckles across the galaxy, and cheer for Captain Reynolds and crew as they fight their way through Reavers to get the truth out about Miranda. It occurred to us both that Captain Reynolds bears more than a passing resemblance to Captain Solo, even down to the stripes on his trousers. And of course the aforementioned dashingness. Big damn heroes, both of them.

The last eighteen months have been a real roller-coaster for me and mine, and I am devoutly hoping that 2016 will be a more serene period. I also hope to do more writing -- yes, I say this every year, and so far have failed, but that doesn't mean I give up on it as a goal. I also plan to take a page from [livejournal.com profile] teddyradiator's book: "to keep my zen, to play more, and to cherish my friends."

Many hugs and warm wishes to all for the new year!
delphipsmith: (classic quill)
Every so often I go on a binge of re-reading my own fics. And almost every time, I end up thinking the same thing: "These are pretty good. But...did I really write these??" In other words, it feels like I'm reading someone else's work. It's a little unnerving. I can't quite figure it out.

So, for those of you who write fanfic, do you go back and re-read your own old stories? How often? Is there a particular concatenation of circumstances that causes you to do so? How does it make you feel when you do? How do you find that you react to them -- do they feel like your own work or someone else's?

Now, for those of you who also write original fic: same questions.
delphipsmith: (Cicero books)
A wonderful interview with him over on Huffington Post:

"In my view, all these ideologies have destroyed literary study in the graduate schools and in the academies...All these "isms" are preposterous of course; they have nothing to do with the study of literature or with its originality. As I've said before, the esthetic is an individual and not a social concern..." Read the rest ==>

He says the influence of Derrida and Foucault has been "pernicious," heh heh. Such a great word. But what do you suppose grad students would be talking about today if those two hadn't come along? Bloom also recommends reading aloud as a way to "get inside" a writer, which I totally agree with. I've always loved reading aloud; my mom read to me and my brother until I was twelve or thirteen. When the final Harry Potter book came out, neither Mr Psmith nor I could wait for the other person to read it first, so we read it aloud in turns -- I think it took us three days but it was wonderful. There's something really special and different about reading aloud: you can taste the words, roll them around in your mouth, listen as they fall onto your ears. It adds a delightfully physical component to what is otherwise a purely mental activity.

I am insanely jealous of those lucky few who get to attend the small seminars Bloom says he teaches at his home. Oh, what I wouldn't give!!
delphipsmith: (books-n-brandy)
I've been AWOL lately due to being occupied co-writing a fic with someone. This is something I've never done before, and I found it peculiarly satisfying. Partly that was because the other person mapped out the plot and all I had to do was write scenes for it (o lazy me!) but also partly because it was so much fun to see the pieces coming together, to craft the transitions so it read seamlessly (or at least so we hope), and to get immediate feedback on chunks of writing before it was anywhere near finished. I'm quite proud of the end product, which turned out to be by far the longest fic I've ever worked on, and look forward to eventually being able to cop to my role in it when the fest reveals go up.

Refinery29 has compiled a millennials' reading list entitled The Book Bucket List: Books to Tackle Before You're Thirty. I've read fourteen of them, which I guess makes me 28% of a millennial? I'm not sure what criteria they used, since Harry Potter is the first one the list, which is nice but I'm not sure what's particularly millennial about it. Quite a few more are on my ever-growing to-read list, though, so perhaps I'll get to them eventually. Maybe before I turn sixty.

In more book-related news, I recently finished Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, which I absolutely adored. (Is it a coincidence that her name is the same as my favorite sushi item?) Not only are the characters three-dimensional and interesting, they're dealing with serious issues (bipolar disorder, binge drinking, etc.) yet in the end its a heart-warming story about family and friendship, and remembering what really matters in our lives. And its treatment of fandom and fanfic is a delight -- what joy to read a story that treats fic writing with the respect it deserves, and recognized the important place it fills in so many of our hearts!

Finally, I have to share this: Ursula Le Guin's acceptance speech at the recent National Book Awards. I have no words for how very cool this is. Not only is Le Guin an amazing writer, she's also thoughtful and passionate about our craft.


"...the moment that turned attendees' heads...belonged to Ursula K. Le Guin. In
accepting an award for distinguished contribution to American letters, Le Guin
delivered an impassioned defense of science fiction — and of writers in general..."
[Error: unknown template video]


(transcript available here)
delphipsmith: (McBadass)
The reveals are up at [livejournal.com profile] minerva_fest so I can now admit to being the author of "Memento Vitae," which I very much enjoyed writing and which a lot of people apparently enjoyed reading -- yay! As always, this was an excellent fest with many top-notch stories; if you haven't yet checked them out, take time to do so. You will not be disappointed!

Title: Memento Vitae (on LJ) (on AO3)
Prompt #70: Retirement approaches, and Minerva clears out her office at Hogwarts. There are a few objects ('five' is such a traditional fanfic number, but have less or more if you prefer) that hold very, very special memories. While she packs, she remembers those times.
Rating: G
Word Count: 3700
Characters and/or Pairings: Minerva, with memories of many others
Summary: There are things we carry in our hearts that no one else can fully understand. On her last afternoon as Headmistress, Minerva remembers some of hers.
Warnings: None
Author's Notes: I very much enjoyed this stroll down Minerva's memory lane; I hope you do too.
delphipsmith: (KellsS)
[livejournal.com profile] sshg_promptfest was another sterling collection this year; I'm only sorry that my July was such that I wasn't able to give it the attention it deserves. I did manage to look at and respond to all the art, and I hope to work my way through the fics over the next few weeks. Many of my favorite contributors participated, and I'm looking forward to enjoying the results of their creative fabulosity!

Now that the Big Reveal is up, I can admit to being the author of "The Heart the Adder Gave Him." Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] palathene for a wonderful prompt that gave me lots of leeway to explore what it might mean for Hermione to suffer a prophetic vision. I'm rather proud of this one :)

Title: The Heart the Adder Gave Him (LJ) (AO3)
Rating: PG
Summary: Hermione has made a prophecy about Snape, most of which she doesn’t understand. Snape understands part of it all too well. But what can the rest of it mean?
delphipsmith: (McBadass)
Eighty-one -- yes that's right, EIGHTY ONE -- luscious, inspiring, wonderful, original, stimulating, thought-provoking, fascinating, sexy, dramatic, exciting, angsty, funny, prompts. Go ye and claim!

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Minerva_Fest! Prompt Claiming Through 30 June


(banner by [livejournal.com profile] featherxquill; art by Kit466 [used with permission])

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